My paternal grandmother had a full set of dentures.  What I remember most about her teeth were the two prominent gold ones you saw every time she smiled.  As curious children are prone to do, one day I asked her why she had gold teeth.  Without hesitation she replied, “When you have a tooth pulled, if you never touch where the tooth was with your tongue, a gold tooth will grow back in its place.”

I remembered her advice and, as I began to lose my baby teeth, I vainly tried to keep from touching the empty space with my tongue.  Time and again, I would forget and let me tongue touch the opening.  And sure enough, every time that the new tooth appeared it was white instead of gold!  She was right, if only I had been able to resist touching my gum, I could have had a gold tooth as well.

I never shared this knowledge with anyone, including my parents.  It was something that only my grandmother and I knew, our secret to keep.

I decided that the solution for a troublesome tooth was to have it extracted and be done with it.  I did just that and, on the way home from the dentist, I remembered what my grandmother told me over seventy years ago about her gold teeth.  I thought to myself, maybe she was right all along.  I’ll take her advice and see if I can still have a gold tooth.

That lasted maybe another mile or two.  Ooops, not again!